Saturday, October 31, 2009

... new beginnings

... new beginnings: "NaNoWriMo

Tomorrow it starts. Thirty days of frantic writing and, towards the end, hurting hands. It will be crazy, it will be scary, it will be tiring, but most of all it will be fun. The 1st of December I will, hopefully, have accomplished it again. Winning NaNoWriMo. Last year was amazing. The trills of watching the word count go up. The stress when it doesn’t go up, or it doesn’t go up fast enough.
I will still need to look decent and fresh for work and I will need to pay attention to the customers problems, even though it will be hard. For I will also write during work. After work. Maybe even in the bus to and from work."

Friday, October 30, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month: "Geeking out with NaNo geo stats, city-style

As promised yesterday, here are the Top 50 NaNoWriMo cities, measured by traffic to our site over the last month. In total, we had 12,983 cities and towns send their inhabitants to NaNoland in October!

In 12,983rd place was a town called Dinosaur, where a single citizen stumbled onto the site on October 20th, spent 20 minutes browsing five pages, then wandered back out into the night, never to be seen again.

We miss you, Dinosaur citizen.

Anyway, here they are! Thank you, Google Analytics for allowing us this moment of nerddom!


London 31,407
New York 18,168
Sydney 12,373
Los Angeles 10,466
Seattle 10,054
Melbourne 10,032
Portland 9431
(not set) 9171
San Francisco 8378
Chicago 8213
Denver 7358
Minneapolis 7043
Houston 5150
St Louis 5136
Atlanta 5131
Brisbane 5107
Austin 5086
Eugene 5035
Don Mills 4993
Edmonton 4808
Washington 4630
Calgary 4469
Dallas 4047
Manchester 3816
Birmingham 3753
Ottawa 3694
Perth 3670
Philadelphia 3595
Sacramento 3528
Phoenix 3521
Columbus 3476
San Antonio 3435
Albuquerque 3402
Dublin 3313
Indianapolis 3295
Helsinki 3170
Tucson 3123
Vancouver 3103
Pittsburgh 3095
Nashville 3087
San Jose 3056
Adelaide 3053
Honolulu 3003
Winnipeg 2981
Singapore 2969
Auckland 2946
Kansas City 2926
Glasgow 2868
San Diego 2833
Colorado Springs 2822

Two days until noveling commences!"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

snowflake method

Archive for snowflake method » Jordan McCollum: "entry is part 12 of 20 in the series The plot thickens (Mwahahaha)

The Snowflake Method of story design is just one way to create a plot—but it’s not the best way, nor is it even a good way for all of us. (And we’ll continue to look at more methods to plot stories over the next two weeks.) We’ve already seen how Carol adapted the Snowflake Method to suit her needs as a writer, using its strengths for her and discarding its potential weaknesses. So what are the potential strengths and weaknesses of the Snowflake Method, so we can do this for ourselves?

After spending so much time refining them and writing about them, you get to know your characters and your plot well. Really well. Before you even write one word of your story, you have pages and pages of information on the characters, their backgrounds, how they see the story unfolding. You know the events, the sequence, the logic there.

Another strength is that you can start with almost nothing and “grow” a plot “naturally.” If you start with just the most basic idea"

Randy Ingermanson For his Snowflake Analysis - Google Search: "Interview: Randall Ingermanson
Randall Ingermanson (shown here with his first two daughters) is the author of ... analysis to automate the interpretation of microscope images of cells. ..... This is my infamous Snowflake process, and it's the most-downloaded page on ..."

Monday, October 12, 2009 - Birmingham - Birmingham: "A new window or tab will open and you will be asked to type in your username. It is best if that name is the same as the one you use on the NaNoWriMo web site, so that people know who you are. Then click on 'Connect' and away you go!

This new chat interface is an actual IRC channel; if you would prefer to connect to the chat using your own IRC client (e.g., mIRC, Ice Chat), direct your client to and /join #birminano."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kitty, cell phone novelist

Today's Guest: Kitty, cell phone novelist | National Novel Writing Month: "Q: Kitty, you wrote your NaNo-novel on a cell phone. How does that work? Are your thumbs damaged from your efforts? How is this better than noveling on a computer?
A: I actually type faster on my Blackberry—using only my thumbs—than I do on a computer keyboard. On a computer, I already type at 40 words per minute, so on a phone I can churn out quite a lot of words! Because I spend most of my day typing, I’ve built up a tolerance to any pain that may occur. My thumbs are pretty quick!

I’ve met many other people who wrote their novel over the phone, but I don’t know how many did it using the memo pad feature like I did. Memo pad is a program for writing notes or making lists or—in my case—writing a novel!

Once I have a full chapter, I cut and paste it onto my novel page on MobaMingle, where I have a loyal readership of fourteen registered fans. Because I can make my novel public, people can comment on my writing (and literally demand that I write more!)."

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Breaking News | National Novel Writing Month: "Relaunch!

The October 1 relaunch of the adult and Young Writers Program sites will likely happen in the late afternoon, California time. You'll know we've begun blast-off sequence when you see the 'Temporarily down for maintenance' screens go up.

When we rocket out of the launch chute, we'll have a new masthead, a new communications module that you don't need a computer science degree to operate, new Municipal Liaison-controlled regional info stations, a complete list of this year's guest pep talkers, the inaugural Procrastination Stations and NaNo Q&As, a sexy placeholder image for the new videos we're launching this year, and beautifully wide-open forums."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ten Tools for Your Bestseller - Reviews by PC Magazine

Ten Tools for Your Bestseller - Reviews by PC Magazine: "Got the next great American novel in you? These ten sites, services, and apps can help you get it down on paper and share it with (or sell it to) the world.

by Erik Rhey
The English author and playwright W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage) famously quipped, 'There are three rules to writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.' Others have deemed novel-writing the most difficult human task next to hitting a major league fastball.
For those who have embarked on this odyssey, congratulate yourself, no matter how putrid you feel your first draft may be. And for those who have always wanted to write a book but don't know where to begin, the good news is that you don't have to spend thousands on classes to learn how. Thanks to our good friend technology, there are Web sites, software apps, and services to help you get started."

yWriter - Google Search

yWriter - Google Search: "yWriter is a free word processor for authors. Free story writing software. Perfect for novellists - projects are split into chapters and scenes,"


Q10: "JoaquĆ­n Bernal

I'm a Spanish programmer, designer and fiction writer who didn't find any plain text editor comfortable enough.

Ok, ok. I was looking for a pet project to spend time on instead of writing, but don't tell anyone.

If you want to show your gratitude for Q10, you can browse my Amazon wish list."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How To Write When You Think You Can’t - Dumb Little Man

How To Write When You Think You Can’t - Dumb Little Man: "When you have to write something and you feel as if a family of butterflies has taken up residence in your stomach, you aren’t alone. Many people become anxious when they attempt to write. Some get panicky at the sight of the blank page and say they have a writing phobia.

No one is born with a writing gene. With a little work and effort, anyone can write. Here are some ways you can begin to build confidence about writing:"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mysterious Matters BLOG

Mysterious Matters: Mystery Publishing Demystified: "Mysterious Matters is designed to educate and entertain both writers and readers of mystery and suspense novels with tips, comments, and the inside story of the mystery publishing business."

from my usenet email:-

"This has been a pretty busy season for manuscript submissions, despite (or perhaps because of) the economy. Since Mysterious Matters seems to get the most hits when I write about "things not to do," I thought I'd offer the most common reasons for rejection in the last couple of months. We may not say these things directly in our rejection letters, but we turned down your book because...

1. Your story didn't start in the first 25 pages of your manuscript. You'd be amazed at how many manuscripts have absolutely no action, or no initiating mysterious incident, in the first couple of chapters. Boring your readers in the first two chapters is no way to get a book published.

2. You burdened your early chapters with backstory. You gave me your protagonist's entire life story almost immediately, before I really developed an interest in learning about the protag. Your manuscript was so mired in the past that I couldn't get excited about the present.

3. Your protagonist was too old. Ouch--hard to say this (though it is one of the benefits of blogging anonymously), but the market for geriatric sleuths is limited. So many manuscripts with retired amateur sleuths, living in Florida or some other retirement mecca, and not enough people who want to read about the elderly.

4. You don't write very well. Either your prose is clunky or too ornate; too simple or too complicated; too heavy to sustain your topic or too light to have any gravitas. The ironic thing is that your story may have had potential, but your writing skills just aren't polished enough."

[...] [and so forth ...]


EPublishing Innovation Forum 2009 - Strategies for generating new digital revenues through ePublishing Innovations: "Epublishing Innovation Forum 2009 features several pioneering case studies that will focus on how to generate new revenue streams through innovative business models.

Day 1 will show you how to retain and engage readers using collaborative technologies to help build sustainable communities."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Advance

Essay - About That Book Advance ... - "The numbers can sound much bigger than they are. Take a reported six-figure advance, Roy Blount Jr., the president of the Authors Guild, said in an e-mail message. “That may mean $100,000, minus 15 percent agent’s commission and self-employment tax, and if we’re comparing it to a salary let us recall (a) that it does not include any fringes like a desk, let alone health insurance, and (b) that the book might take two years to write and three years to get published. . . . So a six-figure advance, while in my experience gratefully received, is not necessarily enough, in itself, for most adults to live on.”

The novelist Walter Kirn agrees. “A low-six-figure advance has allowed me to work at less than minimum wage for three years,” he told me. “Perhaps that’s for the best; a large advance might create a disinclination to do anything other than play blackjack in Las Vegas. When I hear these large, publicized advances, it feels like watching the casino play around me.” (Weep not for Kirn, however; he phoned me from the set of the film adaptation of his novel “Up in the Air,” starring George Clooney.)"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction

Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction: "Kill your word-processor

Word, Google Office and OpenOffice all come with a bewildering array of typesetting and automation settings that you can play with forever. Forget it. All that stuff is distraction, and the last thing you want is your tool second-guessing you, 'correcting' your spelling, criticizing your sentence structure, and so on. The programmers who wrote your word processor type all day long, every day, and they have the power to buy or acquire any tool they can imagine for entering text into a computer. They don't write their software with Word. They use a text-editor, like vi, Emacs, TextPad, BBEdit, Gedit, or any of a host of editors. These are some of the most venerable, reliable, powerful tools in the history of software (since they're at the core of all other software) and they have almost no distracting features — but they do have powerful search-and-replace functions. Best of all, the humble .txt file can be read by practically every application on your computer, can be pasted directly into an email, and can't transmit a virus."